Cecile Richards Admits Community Health Centers Outnumber Planned Parenthood Centers

By Melanie Arter | September 30, 2015 | 3:33pm EDT
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) – During questioning at the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Tuesday, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards admitted that community health clinics outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics nationwide, although she would not acknowledge by what degree.

“I don’t know the exact number. I know there’s more community health centers than there are Planned Parenthood,” Richards said when Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), a nurse who authored the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2015, asked Richards if community health centers outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics roughly 20 to one.

“So you will acknowledge that they outnumber Planned Parenthood clinics?” Black asked during the hearing, which examined federal funding of Planned Parenthood.

“I’m happy to acknowledge that,” Richards said.

According to Planned Parenthood, they have over 700 clinics nationwide.

According to information provided by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, there were 1,202 federally funded health centers nationwide.


Black then questioned Richards about the number of services Planned Parenthood provides compared to community health centers. Richards admitted in earlier testimony that Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms.

Black: Okay, and yes or no, Ms. Richards, do you acknowledge that these facilities funded under my bill provide a broader range, these facilities actually provide a broader range of services than what is offered at Planned Parenthood, for instance, mammograms?

Richards: I’m not an expert on what all community health centers provide. I know we work in close collaboration with them. In fact, often they send us their patients that they can’t see for birth control.

Black: But you will acknowledge that you do not provide mammograms, which was acknowledged in this committee today.

Richards: We’ve never made any—

Black: So that would say that they do actually provide more extensive services than what you provide there at Planned Parenthood.

Richards: I don’t know, what I said to you is I don’t know what community health centers provide. We’re very clear about what we do provide at Planned Parenthood and about the number of women who voluntarily choose to come to us because of our care.

Black also asked Richards why she doesn’t just stop providing abortions since Richards stated earlier in the hearing that her mission was to provide quality affordable health care.

Black: Reclaiming my time again, because I have just very short period of time. So knowing that the House-passed bill actually increases public health funding and redirects those federal dollars to clinics that offer more preventative health care than Planned Parenthood, you can’t substantiate your claim that the bill blocks access to care. It does not block access to care. Now, I do want to just end this by saying that you had a statement that you made that quality affordable health care is your entire mission. You made that statement – I actually wrote it down when you made it. Why would you not make an executive decision then to temporarily discontinue your abortion services, which only represents by your testimony three percent of the services that you provide and continue providing what you consider to be your entire mission of 97 percent of the services provided?

Richards: Well because abortion is a legal service in America, and we think it’s important that women—You quoted me as saying, ‘quality, affordable health care, and that includes access to quality and affordable abortion services as well.

Black: But you acknowledge that—do you say abortion is health care? Do you consider that health care?

Richards: Yeah, it’s a health care service for women. In fact, three in 10 women in this country have accessed an abortion at some point.

Black: So you define abortion as health care?

Richards: It absolutely is part of women’s health care, and I think women would agree.

Black: I’m a nurse, and if you look at medicine, abortion is not health care. It is not considered to be health care. Now let me turn to one other thing—

Richards: We can simply agree to disagree on this matter.

Black: Well let’s look at the definition … 

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